Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!?? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

well i was installing a new set of triple gauges today and when i finished i had no power to anything ?? no lights no radio no start!!???
i did notice some pretty heavy duty wires running in and out of the old amp gauge so i unplugged the new one and ran the wires back through the old one and now i have power to everything again????
so what do i have to do to lose the old amp gauge can i simply crimp the 2 wires from it together or do i need to run a fuse in between???
please help i suck at electrical issues!!!

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:00 PM
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

He probably split the main power distribution wire and wired the amp gauge inline. Is your new gauge an amp or a volt gauge?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

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Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
He probably split the main power distribution wire and wired the amp gauge inline. Is your new gauge an amp or a volt gauge?
volts as it went to 12 when i hooked the wires to it even with key off!

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

so it would be okay to just reconnect the 2 wires with a inline crimp??

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:21 PM
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

I'd hate to give you any advice that might melt the electrical system in your car and start a fire....

I'm assuming there are 2 wires to the amp gauge. Disconnect the amp gauge and see if you have power to anything. Be careful not to touch those wires to ground.

With the old gauge wired in place, put a test light on each terminal on the gauge to a known ground and see what you get. (my guess is 12V @ each)

I'd trace the two wires from the amp gauge back to the car's harness, and see what he really did. My guess is that you'll find he split a 10 ga (big!) red wire and ran the amp gauge inline. If that's the case, you can temporarily test by twisting them together. For a permanent repair, I'd solder them back together in the harness and do away with the wires running to the gauge. Then install your volt gauge per the instructions that came with it. I hope you didn't fry your new gauge.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

thats what i was wondering!!! (fried the new one?)

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

thanx for the help by the way!!

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 08:51 PM
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

Just to add some info, the amp gauge should have the main batt running through it (if you disconnect either side of the amp guage it should kill power to the whole car) and carries the load of the entire system. That's how it is able to meter the draw of all the cars electrical circuits. A volt meter gets a battery lead and a ground lead and reports voltage levels.

I'd re-install the amp gauge and get the car running then find a hot lead (batt) off the fuse block and wire in the volt gauge with it and a good ground from under the dash. Once you do then you can undertake removing the amp gauge...

Like Al I don't want say "do this" thinking things are one way but they really are not and have you smoke your entire cars wiring.

...Dennis

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 10, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

Im gonna trace the amp gauge wires back and loose them tomorrow!!
i think while im at it im gonna pull the 80`s tape deck and crappy amp under the dash and all the wireing mess involved with them as well!

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 03:54 AM
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Re: oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

If the old meter was an ammeter, its scale would look like 50-0-50 with needle in the middle with the car in the OFF condition - no doors open, no acc, dead.

Ammeters show the amount of currrent through the circuit. Current passes through the gauge using large gauge wire. Take the ammeter out of the circuit, the power flow is interrupted.

Voltmeters show the volts of the circuit/electrical system - the potential/pressure of the current using thin gauge wire because there is no current except for the few milliamperes t move the needle to indicate. Generally has a scale from 8-16. They are used to monitor voltage at any one point, usually after the ignition switch or accessory position. They are hooked to the circuit and the other post is referenced to ground.

By removing the ammeter and installing the voltmeter in place, won't work, as you've seen. Ammeters installed in older cars & trucks were used to monitor the battery condition, when batteries started to fail, it took more current for a longer time to recharge. Also, it showed the amount of current being used by the electrical system when the alternator was not recharging, and it is by design, simply because other accessories were on, headlamps, heater blower, wipers, and engine idling, and a 37 amp output alt could not keep up, the battery supplied the 'make-up' current. At higher rpms, alternator output more current and battery got recharged. Then the 10SI alternator came out.

If you were to install the ammeter and turn on the lamps/lights, you would see the ammeter go to the left showing a discharge from the battery. I would suspect Bubba wired the ammeter over by the horn relay buss bar. You'll find one wire butt connected to a red wire (I hope its soldered) - goes to battery? - and another wire mounted in place on the buss bar.

Your voltmeter, As Dennis suggests, can be connected to the IGN or ACC spade on the fuse panel and the other lead of voltmeter to a good ground. You really don't want to connect it to the ammeter connections as the voltmeter will indicate voltage all the time. However, with gauge technology today, it would probably take a couple months or so for the battery to become dead where years ago, it would take a couple days.

But yes, I would do the experiment Dennis suggests and go from there. Finding a manual with a car's diagram would be beneficial. PM me with your address and I'll see if I can seek a few wiring scans past IT dept and send them to you.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

dose anyone have a good pic of the main power wire from horn relay to the fuse block??

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

ok so this is what i found , i traced the wire from the horn relay into the ammeter in the car and the other wire from the ammeter out to a ball of elect. tape and after peeling it off found it twisted together with this red wire (im assuming the main power supply to horn relay)

so i removed the wires from ammeter and crimped an end on the main red wire and hooked it up to the horn relay and it seems all is good !!! thanx for the help!!!

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

while i was at it i removed this mess, old kraco amp and crap pioneer stereo and a wireing nightmare!


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 01:16 PM
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Re: Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

Nice! Always good to fix something, huh?

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 10, 07:24 PM
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Re: Oh crap bubba wired my gauges!!??

Cool! The gauge panel hanging down will bolt right up to the two screws holding in the ashtray. Holes line right up - the two inside screws.

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